Friday, January 30, 2009

Rubberswap Part Deux

Oh, I was spoiled.
First I got yarn. The note promised there was more to come, but it was such lovely yarn. Handmaiden Seasilk in Lily Pond.
Rubber Swap yarn
Then, yesterday the mail carrier brought a box. It was small but heavy. And it smelled yummy. I opened it up and discovered there were scented soaps, a scented spray, tea (chai tea, even, it's so cool), and chocolate. All the rest was chocolate. Yummy, yummy chocolate.
Rubberswap Deux boxful
This here, is a representative sampling. But there's more. Lucky me.
Rubberswap Deux box

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reader Quiz

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

*Hat Tip to Book Binge for the link.

Monday, January 26, 2009

7 Things: US Flag

Okay, in honor of all the incorrectly hung flags I have scene in these inaugural days, I present, 7 Things about the US flag. (Seriously, even the one in my apartment building is hung wrong, even after I told them.)
1. There is a star for each state, a stripe for each original colony. (Most kids learn this in school, but just in case.) The red stripes go on the outside, so seven red, six white. (By the way, there's a perfect spot for the DC star...)
2. When the flag is flying on a pole, the stars go next to the pole.
3. Pole mounted flags should be taken down during inclement weather and at sundown. They may remain up at night if they are lit.
4. When the flag is hung on a wall or other surface the stars go in the top left corner. This is true whether the flag is hung vertically or horizontally.
5. If the flag is in an array with other flags*, the US flag gets special standing by being displayed either left-most or highest. (Small pennant flags can be displayed above the flag.)
6. The US flag is to be hoisted, or placed first, and removed last.
7. The flag is to be stored carefully, with care that it not touch the ground.

*I imagine other countries have different rules about flag presentation, so again, this applies to the US flag when displayed in the US.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Famous to Children and Adults

My brother and I were watching "The Emperor's New Groove" at my mother's house when my mother came in from another room to marvel at the voice of Esme and then, in response to our fairly blank stares demand that we listen more closely. Eventually she gave in and told us that it was Eartha Kitt - a name we recognized, but we as a Millenial and a Gen Xer respectively, were not able to identify by voice.
When Paul Newman passed away last year, it was sort of interesting thing, that his last movie had been "Cars", such that a new generation (have we named this next crop yet?) would know him primarily as Doc Hudson.
And now we have lost Ricardo Montalban. I am old enough certainly to remember "Fantasy Island" and yet, I know there are many teens and tweens who will know Mr. Montalban primarily for his wonderful work as the fabulously named Senor Senior Sr. (father, of course, to Senor Senior Jr.) in "Kim Possible". Regardless, he will be missed.

Monday, January 12, 2009

There's Telecommuting and Then There's This

Okay, I keep meaning to talk about my telecommuting experience - the pluses and minuses. (And I will, not today.) But the big thing is that it's really hard to achieve a work life balance when your work and your life are happening in the same place. But really, way, way, worse than working where you live, would be living where you work. But apparently that was one senator's decision. Dude, seriously, even if you just get yourself a trailer you need to be able to get out of the office once in a while.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Book Rant : Pets and other Companions

So, I read this great book. And you know how early on, you're gathering up bits, waiting t see which detail turns out to be important. Well, I paid special attention to the heroes dog. The hero had been accused of being a workaholic so I was figuring the dog might help clue him in on that. Or that he would bring the dog over to the heroine's house either to better get into her good graces or as an excuse to keep coming over (well, the dog's already here...). And yes, I can be quite the cynical reader.
You'll be glad to hear that none of those things happened. Instead, about halfway through the book the dog disappeared (until the epilogue). And I have to tell you, because my cynical self had spun out all these dog related scenarios, it bugged the crap out of me. The hero was spending all this time over at the heroine's house and I kept wondering if the hero had a doggie door or if the poor (fictional) dog was stuck inside.

Monday, January 05, 2009

2008 - the Year in Books

Well, for 2008, I was a big slacker. Total books read was 124, quite a bit less than last year. (Perhaps knitting really did muck up my reading time this year. At least I was having fun somehow.)
That puts the monthly average at about 10 a month. The lowest month was November at a whopping total of 2 (clearly NaNo interfered a bit also). Surprisingly, my highest month was February at 18. I did fly out to Salt Lake that month, leading to plenty of plane time (plus jet lag usually increases my reading time a bit).
I read 72* different authors, which was less diverse than last year, but percentage-wise, I still think that was pretty well-rounded of me. And the author I read the most books by in 2008, was Gena Showalter at 8. I was still a big series junkie** - with 77 of those falling into some sort of series or related book thing. I also read quite a lot of new fiction this year, with 60 being 2008 publications. (That number is a bit skewed, some of the e-versions were printed this year, or some were reprinted this year, but a lot of them were new for 2008.)
One of my friends complained that I seemed to win a lot of books, so, I tracked that this year, and the number was a respectable 11. (In fairness, I picked up a few more at RWA conference and such, but they didn't get read this year.)
This year was the first year I really dove into e-books, and that accounted for 34 or those read for 2008. E-books also made hunting down categories much easier, so my categories this year were a healthy 23.
And according to my own personal categorization, I read 102 Romances. The highest sub-category was surprisingly (to me) contemporary at 40, although paranormal (31) and romantic suspense (32) were also well represented.

*I counted authors rather than pen names.
**Series were counted is the book had characters that will or have appeared in other books. I counted it regardless of my intent to read any of the related books.